Sunday, November 18, 2018

"Sounds in Space" in Living Stereo

I picked up this record earlier this year at Atomic Warehouse in Harrisburg, during the same trip when Sarah and I were checking out "vintage" boom boxes and cassette tapes. I picked it up because it looked cool. No other reason.

The record was issued by RCA Victor in 1958. It's a "stereo-orthophonic high fidelty recording" that's narrated by Ken Nordine, who is best known for his Word Jazz albums and is, according to Wikipedia, still alive today at age 98.

While it has an outer-space theme, this was intended as a demonstration record, to show off the benefits of stereophonic presentation. As such, there's an IMPORTANT NOTICE on the back of the album sleeve: "This is a TRUE STEREOPHONIC RECORD specifically designed to be played only on phonographs equipped for stereophonic reproduction. This record will also give outstanding monaural performance on many conventional high fidelity phonographs by a replacement of the cartridge. See your local dealer or serviceman."

From that level of stated concern, it sounds as if failure to follow the guidelines might result in tearing a hole in the space-time continuum. If someone actually did that, though, would we know? Or would we just assume that the universe in which we live today is the one that it's supposed to be? (Because there's nothing at all weird about the universe in 2018, right?)

The album's "Sounds of Space" include segments from Russian composer Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. That's both an obvious and ironic inclusion for this album, since Stravinsky's otherworldly and influential 1913 ballet influenced John Williams' Star Wars score more than six decades later.

You can see the full track listing for the album, which includes Lena Horne and Julie Andrews, here and listen to the whole thing on YouTube.

Finally, two Amazon reviewers sharing their memories of this album state that it was not available as a standalone album:

  • Penelopeantelope: "This '58 sampler / demo LP came packed inside RCA Victor stereo phonographs, & was never available for separate sale. The best 'ear candy' cuts are Lena Horne doing 'Day In, Day Out', & excerpts from Stravinsky's 'Rite Of Spring', & Prokofieff's 'Lt. Kije'. Interspersed with the music are sound effects by stereo recording pioneer Robert O. Jordan. My favorite is the indoor pool with splashes echoing all over — especially thrilling with headphones! The narration is by Ken ('Word Jazz') Nordine. One of the best early stereo demos ever!"
  • Warren: "I am almost 40 years old now. I can remember listening to this LP through my grandparents Sears Roebuck console stereo system as a young child. The music is presented very well and the narration is a hoot! Stereo was a brand new thing when this demo album was provided with new purchases of equipment. Very creative, the folks that produced it had a very wild imagination. Get a copy and sit back, relax and indulge yourself in 'Sounds in Space'. You won't be disappointed."

Montoursville 2018: A glimpse into the past via postcards

Montoursville isn't big or notable enough for there to be large numbers of postcards featuring the borough over the past century or so. I suspect the total number (not including one-shot real photo postcards) is so modest (200?) that an enterprising historian or collector could put together a near-complete checklist. I'm not a "completeist" – not even with Ruth Manning-Sanders material; that's just too much pressure and attention to detail. So I won't be making any Montoursville postcard checklists. For this series' penultimate post, I just wanted to present a handful of postcards of the area that I've picked up over time.

"Loyalsock Creek, Near Williamsport, Pa." Loyalsock Creek forms Montoursville's northern and western municipal borders. The "Haystacks," not far from Montoursville in Sullivan County, are an area of Loyalsock Creek that we visited at least once on a Webelos or Boy Scout field trip in the early 1980s. This postcard was mailed in 1908 and the rambling written message discusses making a coat, working too hard, going to the doctor and heart pains.

"Birdseye View of Montoursville, Pa." This shows a bridge over the Loyalsock Creek into Montoursville. But it's not the one that today is known as both the Broad Street Bridge and the Green Bridge. This postcard is from the 1910s, and the Green Bridge was built in 1931. According to an excellent history of Montoursville by Don King, "Montoursville was one of the earliest towns in this area to have a bridge crossing a major stream. A possible reason for the erection of our first structure was to provide an efficient means to move troops in the event of an invasion of Canada during the War of 1812. For a brief time there were two bridges spanning the creek." This card was postmarked in Montoursville and mailed to Endicott, New York, with the following note: "We are having a nice visit. Leave for Jersey Shore this P.M. Expect to come home Sunday."

"At Indian Amusement Park, Montoursville, Pa." I believe this card, published by C.A.R., is from 1910, but I can't be sure of the final number (0) on the postmark. If my guess is correct, though, it was postmarked on August 27, 1910, in Montoursville. The writer mentions a "very large crowd here." King writes extensively of Indian Park in his history. Electricity and, most importantly, a trolley line made it an extremely popular attraction in the first two decades of the 20th century. There was even a roller coaster. The theater had a capacity of 1,000 persons. Relatively speaking, though, Indian Park's heyday (in that iteration) was short-lived. When the trolley line was closed in 1924, it spelled doom.

"People's Bank, Montoursville, Pa." Here's a look at this Broad Street building before it became Dr. W.B. Konkle Memorial Library, which I wrote about in two earlier posts (1, 2). As I wrote, "in 1964, the old bank building at the corner of Broad and Washington was purchased following a $35,000 fund-raising campaign. This became the library's new home, and that is why the library building today resembles an early 20th century bank." This postcard, made by The Tecraft Company of Tenafly, New Jersey, was never mailed.

"High School, Montoursville, Pa." This postcard was never mailed, either, and has no date. It was published by J.B. Weaver of Montoursville, and it calls for a one-cent stamp. As I have said, we moved away before I would have attended Montoursville High School, so I was only in that building, as it was in the early 1980s, a couple times.

Moving into more modern times, this is a rare and unused photo showcasing the Wagon Wheel Motel, which also featured a bar and restaurant and was located at 1130 Broad Street. The back of the postcard states: "Four miles east of Williamsport, Penna., on U.S Route 220 ... all units with electric heat, air-conditioning, telephones, television and wall-to-wall carpeting ... Phone 368-2436 (717). Arnold and Amber Shook, Proprietors." Amber Shook died in 2007 at age 84. According to her obituary, she moved to Florida in 1971, so the Shooks were either out-of-state owners of the Wagon Wheel after 1971, or new owners came onto the scene. I have many memories of the Wagon Wheel restaurant. Our family went there often when we were living on Willow Street. Sometimes we'd have dinner there. I would get a Howdy Doody to drink and Adriane would get a Shirley Temple; they were both the same thing — 7 Up with grenadine, I believe. What I remember most are the arcade games and the jukebox. After we ate, Mom and Dad would hang out with friends at the bar and give my sister and I a supply of quarters for the small game room. I specifically remember a tabletop version of Missile Command and Battlezone, with its periscope viewfinder. I think there were a couple other arcade games, but can't recall specifically which ones. There was also a dart board and the aforementioned jukebox. Songs I played included "Upside Down" by Diana Ross and "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers.

"Montoursville — 1963." And, to wrap up, here's an aerial view of the borough from 55 years ago. This one is compliments of First National Bank of Montoursville ("A good bank in a good town"). That's the airport at the bottom of the image. Moving north, you get to Broad Street and then the residential area of town, which I wandered back and forth across all day on July 13, racking up some serious Fitbit mileage.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Great-grandmother's 1958 postcard from Munich

This attractively hand-colored postcard of Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, a historic beer hall in Munich, was sent from my great-grandmother, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988) to my grandmother, Helen Chandler Adams Ingham (1919-2003) on May 20, 1958. That was 13 years after Germany's surrender in World War II and 12½ years before I was born.

Greta was traveling through Germany at the time and sent the card back to her only daughter, who was living with them in the oft-mentioned house on Oak Crest Lane in Wallingford.

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl was originally built in the late 16th century, was remodeled just before the turn of the 20th century, was nearly destroyed in World War II and was reopened in 1958 following years of extensive post-war renovations. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany, though personally I'd skip it in favor of visiting more castles and ruins and forests.

Here's what my great-grandmother wrote, to the best of my ability to transcribe her cursive, 60 years ago:
May 20, 1958
Sight-seeing by bus this A.M. Warm day, silk dress on. Saw Art Gallery of [?] Museum. Man there played old pianos & organs, very interesting! Had lunch outside in big hotel garden (ours) here. Now having there a tea dance. We ate in basement bar by music (Italian) last night. [?] danced. Going here (picture) to-night. I bought a good camera today. (Alfa) For all of us! That one at home in Swarth., a bargain!
Love, Greta

Saturday's postcard: Tampa International Airport

This linen postcard was mailed with a two-cent Jefferson stamp to Manchester, Pennsylvania, in May 1956 and showcases Tampa International Airport.

Tampa International was called Drew Field Municipal Airport until the early 1950s, when the start of international flights spurred the name change. Later, following the construction of a new terminal, it was lauded for the Tampa International Airport People Movers, which were groundbreaking (for an airport) when they debuted in 1971. (Full disclosure: When we moved from Montoursville to Largo, Florida, in mid-1983, I had some trips through Tampa International.)

Here's the cursive note from this 62-year-old postcard:
Hi Everybody:
This is where we landed and boy was it nice. You didn't even know you were in the air. We are having a nice time. We haven't slept since Sunday, but this is only Monday night about 10:00 P.M. We are pretty tired because we were on the go all day today.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Montoursville 2018: Photos from elsewhere around town

Photo time! Here are some snapshots from my July 13 walk around Montoursville that don't really fit anywhere else in the narrative I've put together but are certainly worth sharing. Some of these are the edited Instagram versions.

TWA Flight 800 Memorial
When TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on July 17, 1996, the 230 souls that were lost included 16 students and five adult chaperones from the Montoursville Area High School French club. The 21 of them were on a class trip to France as part of a student exchange program. The beautiful and peaceful memorial area features a statue of an angel within a grove of 21 trees.

Random cool houses
These are some other houses that I found interesting while wandering through the neighborhoods on that sunny afternoon. One novel thing about the street layout is that some homes are positioned diagonally on corners. Many of these houses are also wonderfully modest in their size. Who needs big houses?

Bonus from the past: Montoursville's pool
Montoursville's Indian Park featured a community pool that was a big part of my childhood when we lived on Willow Street in the early 1980s. That's where I learned to tread water, swim (one of my instructors was named Marty, I recall), and even dive a little bit. Adriane and I, along with our friends, spent many summer days there. It was easy for Mom to just drop us off and then swing back at a prearranged time to pick us up.

To the best of my understanding, the pool officially closed in 2009. It was already completely filled in when I made a visit to Montoursville in July 2012. Here are a couple of (dreary) photos I snapped then.

The second photograph shows the pool's snack bar, which was always hopping in the summertime. Adriane wrote: "Wow. Such a nostalgic picture for me! I can't count how many times I was at that window buying an ice cream!" ... My snack-bar memories veer more toward french fries with the accompanying smell of vinegar and Whatchamacallit candy bars, which were fairly new to the scene in the early 1980s. Mostly, though, I remember the soundtrack of those summers. The local Top 40 radio station played over the pool's PA system, so we were listening to Rick Springfield, Steve Miller, Kim Carnes, Juice Newton, Journey, Survivor, Toto, Asia, John Mellencamp and the like. Great times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Friends & family recipes scrawled inside "Joy of Cooking"

During one of the many, many waves of cleaning out the house on Oak Crest Lane earlier this decade, it was determined that the battered kitchen copy of Joy of Cooking wasn't going to make the cut for keeping. If you're familiar with it, you know it's a hefty tome and it's far from unique or rare. Plus, at that point, we still had approximately one zillion of Mom's other cookbooks in the Keep pile. So it was out with Joy.

But before we discarded it, I tore out the first few pages and added them to a manila folder filled with food ephemera [hoarding alert]. On those pages, as oft happens with cookbooks, some extra recipes had been scrawled over the years. And, given the handwriting in our family tree, I do mean scrawled.

Shown above is the cookbook's first page, and we see that this copy of Joy of Cooking was originally gifted to Papa, from Helen, on Christmas 1970. Papa is my great-grandfather, Howard Horsey Adams (1892-1985), who was the top chef on Oak Crest Lane. Helen is his daughter (and my grandmother), Helen Chandler Adams Ingham, who was once at Stonehenge.

Here, for posterity (because that's what we do here), are some of those recipes from the pages we kept...

Mina Oliver's salad dressing
  • Kraft's French — 1/3
  • 1890 Dressing — 2/3
  • chives

[OK, I didn't say these were all interesting recipes.]

Untitled Seafood Dish
  • 2# shrimp — clean, cook & cool
  • 2# mushroom — cut into bite size & saute 5 minutes in butter
  • 3# scallops — cut into bite size & saute 5 minutes in butter
  • 5 cans frozen shrimp soup
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
Add the shrimp soup and evaporated milk together and heat. Then add the shrimp, mushrooms and scallops. Last, add sherry and pour over dried noodles.

[Dried noodles??]

Katherine's Chicken Dish
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1½ cup dry brown rice
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 10 pieces chicken, boned
  • 1 can cream mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream chicken soup
  • 1 can celery soup
  • 1 can onion soup
  • 1 can consommé soup
  • 1 soup can H2O
  • ½ cup cooking sherry
  • 2-3 oz. parmesan cheese
Heat butter in skillet & put in casserole. Put rice bottom of pan. Stir in almonds, lay chicken on rice. Heat soups together & H2O in separate pot & then add sherry. Pour over chicken, sprinkle cheese. Bake uncovered for 3 hours, 275° & put foil over when getting dry. Do day before & put in refrigerator. Put cooled soup over & cover & let some air in.

[I have some questions.]

Finally, here's the recipe for Trudy's Fudge (Fantasy), if you want to translate it yourself and service your sweet tooth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Montoursville 2018:
Our third house

OK, it's time to get this series polished off. I'm at peace with (and actually a bit comforted by) the idea that I could not possibly fit all of my memories and stories about our house on Montoursville's Willow Street into one post. So I won't even try.

We lived at 912 Willow Street from late 1980 until the summer of 1983, so I was ages 10, 11 and 12 during that time — very robust years for childhood memories, much more so than when I was single digits in the hazy, trippy 1970s.

Quick recap
  • First family house in Montoursville was on Mulberry Street (early 1970s).
  • Second family house in Montoursville was on Spruce Street (mid 1970s until summer of 1978).
  • Then we moved away and lived in Clayton, New Jersey, from summer 1978 until late 1980.
  • Third family house in Montoursville was on Willow Street (late 1980 until summer 1983).
  • Then we moved to Florida.

The Willow Street house is in the northeast corner of town, where the elevation begins to rise. It's located at the triangular corner of Willow Street and Fairview Drive, as you can see from this map I used in an earlier post about C.E. McCall Middle School. The backyard, where the driveway is located, is very sloped, making for unpleasant shoveling times in the winter (to which Dad and his back surgery can definitely attest). When we moved in, there was a huge willow tree in the far corner of the backyard, but it was cut down during our time there. We also had a burn barrel for paper trash in the backyard, because it was a much different time then — long before there was much momentum for the notions of recycling or air quality.

Even with the slope, the backyard was a great place for running around with the hose or sprinkler. There were all sorts of nooks and crannies to play with Star Wars figures or Matchbox cars. I remember coming across a walking stick insect once in the bushes. The tree in the corner of the front yard was just starting to be strong enough for a young boy to climb; it's huge and middle-aged now. Best of all, I remember laying in the backyard during dark summer nights to gaze at sky and watch for shooting stars. We were spoiled by those night skies, so relatively unpolluted by man-made light.

To the side of the house, along Fairview Drive, there is a concrete-slab covered porch. We spent much time out there throughout the year — relaxing, conversing with friends and neighbors, bug-hunting or listening to John Williams soundtrack albums on the record player we would haul out there and plug in.

Here are some then-and-now photos of the Willow Street house's exterior...


Side porch


Some thoughts after looking at those photos:

  • I'm glad it wasn't until our next house, in flat Florida, that I began taking on lawnmowing duties.
  • That's not our station wagon in the early 1980s photo of the driveway.
  • I love the front-yard landscaping now.
  • I have no recollection of the huge tree that now dominates the backyard, not even as a sapling (though my memory might be faulty on that count). The tree is also located almost exactly where we used to lay on the ground for stargazing.
  • Fences kind of suck, from an aesthetic standpoint, though I do understand you need them if you have a dog (or small children), so close to the road.

* * *

The first floor of the Willow Street house, when we lived there, contained a formal living room as you came in the front door, followed by a small dining room. From the dining room, there were three bedrooms (sharing just one bathroom) to the right and the kitchen to the left. (I wrote about the kitchen during a "Snapshot & Memories" post in January, so I won't touch on it much today.)

The finished basement was where we spent much of our time. There was a TV room, a rec area that served as both a bar and an area for playing board games or cards, a laundry room, and a large play area just inside the garage door where Adriane and I played with blocks or other toys and then cleared them all away during the holidays so that the live Christmas tree could go up. The basement was fairly dark and it could get damp, too. Probably the biggest Traumatic House Event during our time there involved a damaged drainpipe at the bottom of the sloped driveway; it forced water into much of the basement.

The coolest part of the house was the fully finished attic. The staircase was located off the dining room. The main part of the attic was a long hallway, wide enough to allow storage (books, boxes, etc.) on both sides and still have plenty of room to navigate. Flanking the hallway, on both sides, were storage passages that went the length of the attic. Adriane and I called them the cubby holes, and we played in them all the time. Both cubby holes had terminus points in the small guest bedroom located at the far end of the attic. (That's me in the attic bedroom in the photograph at the top of this post.) The guest bedroom was also a great place to play with friends or to seek out some solitude for reading. The Willow Street attic was great.

In retrospect, the worst part about the house is that it had just one full bathroom on the first floor and a toilet closet in the basement. For a four-bedroom house, it was definitely lacking in that respect. And the kitchen was fairly small. I wonder if it's been retrofitted over the decades. (Hmmm, it appears the answer is no.)

* * *

Ephemera & memories & being a kid

As I said, I won't even attempt to share all of my memories of my time at this house. To keep things simpler, and far more appropriate for the nature of this blog, I'll limit it to some memories related to books and ephemera. Many of this is also tied in with sports, which I was very enthusiastic about at the time. Here we go...

  • I remember finishing an English research paper about lions, complete with every fact I found on a separate index card (for the mandatory footnotes), while watching the Philadelphia 76ers win the NBA championship over the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • I had a small metal box in which I put clippings and other ephemera related to the Philadelphia Phillies. I had boxscores and other tidbits that were cut from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. I think I also made my own Phillies baseball cards, as a project.
  • My favorite magazines were the Street and Smith's baseball yearbooks that were issued late each winter. I absolutely poured over the articles, team-by-team previews, rosters, statistics and schedules. I was also enamored of the Topps baseball sticker albums during this time.
  • When I played Major League Baseball on the Intellivision that was set up in the basement, I would sometimes write out actual lineups for the game, filled with my favorite contemporary players, and then keep the boxscore and subsequently track my players' statistics over several games. (It was good math practice!)
  • I kept notes and statistics about the first season of the United States Football League. I loved that league!
  • Dad would often go get The Philadelphia Inquirer and a box of doughnuts on Sunday mornings. I definitely read the comics, and probably Sports. I'm not sure what else I was reading in the newspaper at that point.
  • Pivoting to something other than sports, I discovered the world of Dungeons & Dragons during this time (which should not be a surprise to regular readers of this blog), though I didn't really play in any groups or know anyone who did. I had the 1981 Basic Set and the other things that came with it in the box. I probably had an issue or two of Dragon magazine, and I was an avid reader of the Endless Quest series. Mostly, I liked to create maps and histories for fantasy worlds. I remember having a small, light-blue-covered notebook filled with maps and ideas, and what fun it would be to still have that to look through. I'm sure I'm the one who decided to get rid of it at some later point, but I can't fathom why. Dad would make photocopies of D&D character sheets for me, but I'm not sure what I used those for, since I didn't play the game. I just remember how cool and special it felt to have Dad bring home photocopies from work.
  • On my bedroom bookshelf, I had a couple dozen of those National Geographic hardcover "Young Explorers" books, courtesy of a gift subscription from Beembom (my grandmother, Helen Chandler Adams Ingham). I also remember reading a lot of Garfield, Family Circus and The Three Investigators books during this time. Plus, of course, the discovery of Ruth Manning-Sanders at Konkle Memorial Library.
  • We had The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics, a huge hardcover volume, on the bookshelf in the formal living room. I would often pull it from the shelf and browse for hours. The book is on a bookshelf in my bedroom today.
  • My record albums were an odd and definitely unhip mixture for someone my age. I had the aforementioned John Williams movie scores (Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark); Hooked on Classics; Star Trek tales on vinyl; Mickey Mouse Disco; a half-remembered record that had covers (not originals) of popular movie songs such as "Makin' It" from Meatballs; and another collection featuring covers of classic movie themes such as The Pink Panther and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Those are the ones I can remember (and admit to), anyway. I was not yet into buying pop music on any medium. (And it's crazy to think how much I grew, learned and changed from this kid in early 1983 to the college graduate who bought August and Everything After on cassette in the autumn of 1993.)
  • Mom's college art books were in that bedroom in the attic, along with some of her other forgotten artistic endeavors. I wonder, in retrospect, if she just didn't care for them at that point. Or maybe they reminded her of things that could have been. She definitely wanted to keep them, but never seemed very interested in revisiting them. The bulk of her reading then consisted of Hans Holzer, Susy Smith, Stephen King, etc. This was still a few years, I believe, before she got back to adding historical fiction into her regular reading rotation.
  • And I had a Christopher Reeve/Superman poster on my bedroom wall. Here's proof!

* * *
Wrapping up, I envision three more Montoursville 2018 posts, all of which should come before Thanksgiving and none of which should require the time and effort of this one. We can see the finish line!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thoughts on collections and their inevitable dispersal

I ruminate often these days about the need to starting heading in the opposite direction with my book and ephemera collections.

Maybe 2019 is the year when I should start passing more things along to others; when I should start seriously downsizing my stuff and keeping things simpler and less cluttered for the home stretch. Or maybe 2020. Sooner rather than later, though. Partly because simpler and less cluttered sounds less stressful, and partly because it's ultimately, and always has been, more fun to give than to acquire. (Though I'm still not 100 percent over the thrill of the hunt for a groovy book or piece of ephemera.)

Regarding this line of discussion, I have come across two related news items I wanted to share.

First is a short NPR article titled "Author Haruki Murakami Will Donate A Record Collection 'Beyond The Bounds Of Sanity.'" (There is also an Associated Press story with more details but a much more drab headline.)

The award-winning author's 10,000+ music albums will soon be archived at Waseda University in Tokyo. Of this, Murakami states:
“I have no children to take care of them and I didn't want those resources to be scattered and lost when I die. I’m grateful that I can keep them in an archive.”

* * *

Second, there was a recent Facebook post by Seth T. Smolinske, who I have previously mentioned as being the leading expert and resource on The Three Investigators book series. He posted this photograph and message two days ago:
"Here's one final quick snap of the main bookcase which holds my 'Master Set' of Three Investigators books as it looked on Nov. 4, 2018. I'll post some better pics of the individual shelves in the comments below and/or during this next week. The sale of the Smolinske collection officially begins next Saturday, the 14th of November with some items that came directly from the Random House offices and archives in New York City.

"My sale will take place over the next several months. The plan is to put up select items or groups of items every week or two (unfortunately I've still got a hectic work schedule to try and work around). We'll feature these items here on this page and also on my T3I site. Most items will be listed for set prices, often on my regular T3I sales page, but some will be listed on eBay to sell to the highest bidder. As always, over time, if set price items don't sell then the prices will gradually drop until they do.

"There are a lot of items which are unique or quite scarce, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire some of these things, original artwork, signed books, uncirculated GLBs, and other unique ephemera. But there are also a lot of common items and I trust that there is something for everyone no matter what type of collection you are building.

"Questions and feedback are always welcome. It's best to send me a private message or, even better, contact me by e-mail through my Three Investigators site. Good luck to all!"
One of his followers offered the following comment, which also gets to the core of what people decide to keep or give: "I love it that this collection exists and the effort that went into collecting all of these books. At the same time it is always bittersweet to see an end to anything. At this very moment I am getting ready to sell a train set that has been in the family for a long time. The kids don't want it and that's another story. Just makes me think and get a bit sentimental to see this collection move along for some reason."

Meanwhile, when asked for more details on why he's breaking up his Three Investigators collection at this time, and in this way, Smolinske adds:
"You're asking a question that a lot of folks have asked in the last several weeks and so I'll try to answer it as best I can. There's a lot of T3I stuff that I'm keeping. After all, the early books still spin their magic and truly make me feel like a kid again when I read one. But I promised myself several years ago that I'd give some serious consideration to down-sizing the collection when I passed a few of those 'life-milestones'. And here we are. But it's more than that. I've not had the time I once enjoyed 7 and 8 years ago to spend on the site or with continuing to build and upgrade the collection. I've reached a plateau with the collection and I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to contribute much to the T3I community or add to the knowledge base in recent years. My kids don't have a special interest in the collection and if something were to happen to me I'm not sure what the fate of the collection would be. I think it's a good time to make it available to fans and collectors and give others the opportunity to own some of the really cool T3I things that I've had the privilege to enjoy for awhile. That's pretty much it. I plan to keep my T3I site up an running and I hope that it won't be too long before I have more time on my hands to spend on it."
I think those are some pretty good and noble reasons, and I think it's great that Smolinske will be working to get these items into the hands of those who will enjoy them most. That's what it's all about, right?